Distinctive Turkey, 2008
Our time in Turkey is flying... In Ankara, The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations was fantastic; the exhibits are so well done and transport you through the different time periods and cultures. We had a wonderful lunch at an old Ottoman home within the ancient Citadel in the heart of the city, then had a rare chance to visit rooms not usually open to the public in the Mausoleum of Ataturk, thanks to our great guide, Yasar.
In addition to the amazing sights, the trip has been a gastronomic extravaganza! The produce is incredible… I have never heard so many different interpretations of “yummy,” and over an orange! Our favorites have been the grilled vegetables with wonderful sauces, and the always abundant olives in so many varieties...
Our drive to Cappadocia was fascinating. On the way we stopped at the Valley of the Monks and the Zelve monastic settlement, where three valleys of rock-carved cave homes and churches converge, some decorated with primitive paintings. In the evening we watched a performance of the Whirling Dervishes which was just fantastic—mesmerizing, really.
When the call to prayer sounded at 4:30 in the morning, I got up and went for a walk... very peaceful and my only company was two friendly dogs. After breakfast we all went to the Outdoor Museum of Goreme to explore the amazing cave churches and their interior frescoes. During a visit to a local potter, we learned that this family business has been producing traditional pieces for more than 200 years. We also visited a local rug factory. Here, the government has invested in training for local women, both to help them be more independent and to keep this ancient art alive. One silk rug—only about a foot square—had over 1000 knots per square inch…just exquisite!